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Art

Creative player

A contemporary art space at a football ground? Welcome to OOF Gallery, making itself at home at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

WORDS Dan Poole | PHOTOGRAPHY Tom Carter

Walking from Seven Sisters tube station to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the ground rears up on the horizon long before you reach it. It starts as a silvery sliver that seems to be sitting across the entire end of High Road; then the street dips and you lose sight of it behind shops and trees. When it appears again it’s bigger, bulkier – a marvel of majesty and modernity.

Get closer still and Haringey’s answer to the Colosseum is all that the eye can see. Except it isn’t – because there, right next to the club shop, is the quiet grandeur of the Grade II-listed Warmington House. Built in 1828, the Georgian townhouse is an historical anomaly in the shadow of such gargantuan newfangledness. But that only makes it all the more striking, which is an appropriate adjective when you step inside: there are footballs everywhere.

Not, however, ones that can be kicked. For this is the inaugural exhibition at the brand new OOF Gallery, an independent contemporary space opened by the team behind art-meets-football magazine OOF. They’ve been curating exhibitions around London for three years; now they have a permanent home.

Walking from Seven Sisters tube station to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the ground rears up on the horizon long before you reach it. It starts as a silvery sliver that seems to be sitting across the entire end of High Road; then the street dips and you lose sight of it behind shops and trees. When it appears again it’s bigger, bulkier – a marvel of majesty and modernity.

Get closer still and Haringey’s answer to the Colosseum is all that the eye can see. Except it isn’t – because there, right next to the club shop, is the quiet grandeur of the Grade II-listed Warmington House. Built in 1828, the Georgian townhouse is an historical anomaly in the shadow of such gargantuan newfangledness. But that only makes it all the more striking, which is an appropriate adjective when you step inside: there are footballs everywhere.

Not, however, ones that can be kicked. For this is the inaugural exhibition at the brand new OOF Gallery, an independent contemporary space opened by the team behind art-meets-football magazine OOF. They’ve been curating exhibitions around London for three years; now they have a permanent home.

Read the full story
Sign up now to get access to this and every premium feature on Champions Journal. You will also get access to member-only competitions and offers. And you get all of that completely free!

“The whole point of doing it in Tottenham was to try and engage a community who haven’t got contemporary art on their doorstep,” says Justin Hammond, who curates the gallery as well as helping to put out the biannual magazine. He’s also, handily, a Tottenham fan, and enjoys the bonus of getting an official space in the stadium car park. “We wanted it to be the opposite of a Mayfair gallery, which can sometimes be a bit intimidating.”

The current exhibition runs until 21 November and is called Balls. The source material is the same for each work but the resulting pieces vary enormously. One is cast in concrete, while another is sculpted in ceramic; others look like death masks and one is covered in fantastically lifelike nipples. Of the artists involved, some were existing football fans whereas others would never have considered creating an artwork with the sport at its core.

And what of the football fans who would have never previously considered walking into a gallery? Are those who are more comfortable with, say, Gareth Bale using the San Siro as his canvas, or Lucas Moura showing his artistry in Amsterdam, open to engaging with what they find within? “Football can be a gateway to art,” says Hammond. “When someone enters the gallery, they understand what’s going on. But if people want to dig a bit deeper, there are all these incredible back stories. And they don’t feel embarrassed asking  because they’re comfortable in that environment.”

And have any Spurs types been in? “Yeah, Ledley King,” says Hammond. “He actually kicked one of the exhibits – he apologised and said he couldn’t help himself. Telling off a Spurs legend is weird.”

Walking from Seven Sisters tube station to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the ground rears up on the horizon long before you reach it. It starts as a silvery sliver that seems to be sitting across the entire end of High Road; then the street dips and you lose sight of it behind shops and trees. When it appears again it’s bigger, bulkier – a marvel of majesty and modernity.

Get closer still and Haringey’s answer to the Colosseum is all that the eye can see. Except it isn’t – because there, right next to the club shop, is the quiet grandeur of the Grade II-listed Warmington House. Built in 1828, the Georgian townhouse is an historical anomaly in the shadow of such gargantuan newfangledness. But that only makes it all the more striking, which is an appropriate adjective when you step inside: there are footballs everywhere.

Not, however, ones that can be kicked. For this is the inaugural exhibition at the brand new OOF Gallery, an independent contemporary space opened by the team behind art-meets-football magazine OOF. They’ve been curating exhibitions around London for three years; now they have a permanent home.

Creative player
Art

Creative player

A contemporary art space at a football ground? Welcome to OOF Gallery, making itself at home at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

WORDS Dan Poole | PHOTOGRAPHY Tom Carter

Walking from Seven Sisters tube station to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the ground rears up on the horizon long before you reach it. It starts as a silvery sliver that seems to be sitting across the entire end of High Road; then the street dips and you lose sight of it behind shops and trees. When it appears again it’s bigger, bulkier – a marvel of majesty and modernity.

Get closer still and Haringey’s answer to the Colosseum is all that the eye can see. Except it isn’t – because there, right next to the club shop, is the quiet grandeur of the Grade II-listed Warmington House. Built in 1828, the Georgian townhouse is an historical anomaly in the shadow of such gargantuan newfangledness. But that only makes it all the more striking, which is an appropriate adjective when you step inside: there are footballs everywhere.

Not, however, ones that can be kicked. For this is the inaugural exhibition at the brand new OOF Gallery, an independent contemporary space opened by the team behind art-meets-football magazine OOF. They’ve been curating exhibitions around London for three years; now they have a permanent home.

Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

Walking from Seven Sisters tube station to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the ground rears up on the horizon long before you reach it. It starts as a silvery sliver that seems to be sitting across the entire end of High Road; then the street dips and you lose sight of it behind shops and trees. When it appears again it’s bigger, bulkier – a marvel of majesty and modernity.

Get closer still and Haringey’s answer to the Colosseum is all that the eye can see. Except it isn’t – because there, right next to the club shop, is the quiet grandeur of the Grade II-listed Warmington House. Built in 1828, the Georgian townhouse is an historical anomaly in the shadow of such gargantuan newfangledness. But that only makes it all the more striking, which is an appropriate adjective when you step inside: there are footballs everywhere.

Not, however, ones that can be kicked. For this is the inaugural exhibition at the brand new OOF Gallery, an independent contemporary space opened by the team behind art-meets-football magazine OOF. They’ve been curating exhibitions around London for three years; now they have a permanent home.

Read the full story
Sign up now to get access to this and every premium feature on Champions Journal. You will also get access to member-only competitions and offers. And you get all of that completely free!

“The whole point of doing it in Tottenham was to try and engage a community who haven’t got contemporary art on their doorstep,” says Justin Hammond, who curates the gallery as well as helping to put out the biannual magazine. He’s also, handily, a Tottenham fan, and enjoys the bonus of getting an official space in the stadium car park. “We wanted it to be the opposite of a Mayfair gallery, which can sometimes be a bit intimidating.”

The current exhibition runs until 21 November and is called Balls. The source material is the same for each work but the resulting pieces vary enormously. One is cast in concrete, while another is sculpted in ceramic; others look like death masks and one is covered in fantastically lifelike nipples. Of the artists involved, some were existing football fans whereas others would never have considered creating an artwork with the sport at its core.

And what of the football fans who would have never previously considered walking into a gallery? Are those who are more comfortable with, say, Gareth Bale using the San Siro as his canvas, or Lucas Moura showing his artistry in Amsterdam, open to engaging with what they find within? “Football can be a gateway to art,” says Hammond. “When someone enters the gallery, they understand what’s going on. But if people want to dig a bit deeper, there are all these incredible back stories. And they don’t feel embarrassed asking  because they’re comfortable in that environment.”

And have any Spurs types been in? “Yeah, Ledley King,” says Hammond. “He actually kicked one of the exhibits – he apologised and said he couldn’t help himself. Telling off a Spurs legend is weird.”

Walking from Seven Sisters tube station to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the ground rears up on the horizon long before you reach it. It starts as a silvery sliver that seems to be sitting across the entire end of High Road; then the street dips and you lose sight of it behind shops and trees. When it appears again it’s bigger, bulkier – a marvel of majesty and modernity.

Get closer still and Haringey’s answer to the Colosseum is all that the eye can see. Except it isn’t – because there, right next to the club shop, is the quiet grandeur of the Grade II-listed Warmington House. Built in 1828, the Georgian townhouse is an historical anomaly in the shadow of such gargantuan newfangledness. But that only makes it all the more striking, which is an appropriate adjective when you step inside: there are footballs everywhere.

Not, however, ones that can be kicked. For this is the inaugural exhibition at the brand new OOF Gallery, an independent contemporary space opened by the team behind art-meets-football magazine OOF. They’ve been curating exhibitions around London for three years; now they have a permanent home.

Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

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